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Archive | things i like

book week: favorite books for baby

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This week is devoted to books. Each day I’ll share my favorites in different categories and I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments. On friday, we’ll do a link party.

linkparty

I’m really excited about this one. It will be a great way to hear about new books our internet-friends are crazy about.  So start your blog posts {or start reading a book!} and we’ll share at the end of the week.

loopy

Today’s category is favorite books for baby.

mamaandethan

{mama & No. 1}

Even though they are too little to fully understand, reading sweet board books is so good for babies.  My No. 1 loved books from the very beginning. No. 2 couldn’t make it through an entire book until he was about three years old. Each kid is different, right?

This collection of books are our family’s very favorites:

books-for-baby

These have made it through all four of our kids and some of  my favorite things to gift to new babes.

Please share … what are some of your favorite books for babies?

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edie’s house {i spy a jdc print too!}

Have you seen Edie’s amazing home in the latest issue of Better Homes & Gardens?

I just adore everything about Miss Edie – from her southern charm to her spiritual thirst and book-loving wisdom. Plus, she has a pretty incredible story. When I found out that the talented Darlene was helping Edie redesign her new home, I knew it would be incredible. Just look at the design boards:

She has such a cool whimsical, colorful, cottagy-chic style. I have never met Edie, but she’s been a kind supporter of JDC and I am a happy reader of her blog. Hopefully we’ll meet up this fall {more to come on that}.

When my january bh&g issue came in the mail I was so excited to see a house I ‘knew’ in a real magazine.

living

bookshelf

bedrooms   kitchen

So great, right?! Makes me want to add more pattern to our home and paint our bedroom a dark sultry color.

I was delighted and flattered when I noticed this:

fruit-print

How fun is that? One of my prints in a magazine home!


If you’d like a fruit print for your home, click the button below.

 

get-yours-here

 

 

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on the hunt for snowberries

Each day when I take our No. 3 to school, I drive this pretty country road.

{you can’t tell here, but Mt.Rainier stands right about in the middle of the photo. It’s a pretty amazing view}.

On the other side of the road, I’ve been noticing these little white specks that I hoped were white berries.

This week, I finally remembered to bring my clippers and pulled over to take a peek.

Sure enough, they are wild berries. I called them winterberries until I did a bit of research and discovered that they are actually snowberries.

So I cut a bunch {feeling rather crazy as cars whizzed by} stuck them in a vase and they proudly sit on the coffee table.

Snowberries make for a festive and organic and slightly unruly arrangement.

I kind of love them.

The best things in life are free.

Well, not always.  But if you’re talking about wild snowberries growing along the side of the country road, then yes.

Have yourself a merry little weekend.

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steppin’ up

When you live in a house with little ones, sometimes practical things {like step stools in the bathroom} are essential.

I was growing tired of seeing our perfectly-functional-but-equally-ugly plastic stool in the guest bath and so I was excited to find this wood version at IKEA. It actually is quite attractive in its bare form, but also pretty painted.

One afternoon, my No. 3 and I set to work painting the stool.

I’m not always excited about doing painting projects with my kids, but this actually taught me that 1. they are capable and 2. it can be fun.

After a coat of primer, we rolled on our paint. I used Sherwin Williams Rushing River, which is also the color used in Audrey’s nursery on her bed and shelves. One of my faves.

Two coats of paint and a few days to fully dry, and it now sits in our guest bath.

The perfect little perch for this cutie-pie.

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fashionABLE

While away this past weekend, I was introduced to a new company and instantly fell in love.

Helping women live with purpose and dignity simply by purchasing a beautifully crafted scarf? Yes, please.

I just adore companies like fashionABLE and Noonday that help us help others.

I bought myself a scarf and will wear it proudly.

But I couldn’t stop there …

I bought one for you, too.

One of the best things about these scarfs are the handwritten tags attached. This makes me feel like our money is not just going to an organization, but actually impacting individuals.

If you would like to win this saba scarf, here’s what to do:

* purchase a scarf from fashionABLE {click here}

* sign up for the fashionABLE newsletter

* like fashionABLE on facebook

I’ll choose a random winner and post on the jdc facebook page friday October 19th.

** This giveaway is now closed. But feel free to still check out the FashionABLE site! **

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I went with my daughter to the ballet

  Last Saturday was a special day for me and my baby girl {who is really not a baby anymore}.

In our neighborhood of friends, there is a little group of girls all about the same age. It is the most darling thing to watch these girls become friends and do girly things together. Each of them has a brother {or two} and we do plenty of non-girly things as families {camping, crabbing, sledding, etc} so just spending the day with the girls is a special treat.

This past weekend, we celebrated one of the girl’s birthdays by going to the ballet. The moms and daughters dressed up, drove in to the city and prayed that our babes would sit quietly through the show.

I’m sure this is a special moment for any mom-daughter duo. But particularly so for me as this is the stage on which I lived out my little girl ballerina dreams.

I adore ballet and still wish I had the dedication, the grace and the feet to be a real ballerina.

All of the girls did amazing well. They sat through the show in awe of the pretty, sparkly costumes and ballerinas. Audrey was adorable. I could not believe she understood the story even though it was new to her. She teared up when I told her Cinderella couldn’t go to the party because she didn’t have a pretty dress to wear.  She was mesmerized by the carriage {not sure why, but she was very into it}, and at each intermission she didn’t want it to end. I really didn’t know what to expect taking a 2 1/2 year old to the ballet. And I’m trying to be careful about putting my own dreams on her so I didn’t want to talk it up too much. If ballet isn’t her thing, I want to be okay with that. But she loved it. She can’t stop talking about it. She wants to go again.

It truly was a magical day for me as a mommy of a daughter.

Please don’t get me wrong: I love my boys. I’m so glad to have three of them to learn from, play with, enjoy. I even took them to the ballet last Christmas. I grew up with two sisters, have only one boy cousin and nannied for a family with three girls. I understand girls. I like pretty things and fake eyelashes and am not a fan of rodents or insects of any kind. I’m girly. So to have a daughter that I can identify with in these ways is a blessing. This in no way diminishes my love of being a mom of boys, I’m just thankful that I also get to explore my feminine side by being a mom of a girl.

A girly girl who also likes the ballet.

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learning calligraphy – for real this time

I’m pretty good at fake calligraphy {learn how here}. I even made my own font with my faux-script {get it free  here}.

But I’ve always wanted to learn how to write all fancy with a real calligraphy pen.

And so I am taking a real class.

It’s perfect and it’s called I Still Love Calligraphy by the darling Melissa at the blog I Still Love You.

Melissa is an expert modern-calligrapher and does a great job teaching the basics {I didn’t even know how to hold the pen! Top part of the nib faces up, FYI}.

The class is online and easy to understand.

My favorite part are the printable worksheets. With a piece of tracing paper over top, it makes for great practice {of which I need a lot}.

I’m hoping that learning the basics and lots of practice will someday equal me addressing envelopes and creating artwork with pretty calligraphy.

If you have always wanted to learn calligraphy, or maybe you need a refresher course, I Still Love Calligraphy is a great option.

Click on the image below to learn more.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress …

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a latte a day …

While looking through my most recent instagram photos, I noticed a theme.

warming up with a latte at an outdoor concert at the winery

praying this latte will turn into liquid patience on a particularly grumpy-mommy day

mixing up my own iced latte for an afternoon pick-me-up

coffee date with our little girl

latte sipping while working earlier this week

Now I know I’m from Seattle, but this latte habit is actually a fairly new one for me. I’ve always enjoyed an occasional creamy coffee treat, but lately I’ve actually craved it. Is it the taste? The warmth? The experience? Maybe all of the above.

I’m not terribly picky about my coffee – except I like it decaf, nonfat and extra hot. And only half the amount of syrup as usual, but definitely not the sugar-free kind. Hold the whip.

Okay, maybe I am a bit high-maintenance.

Grabbing coffee while out and about can get a bit spendy and so I’m thinking about following my best friend K.C.’s lead and purchasing one of these:

It steams the milk to your desired temperature, then just pour over strongly brewed coffee, add syrup of choice and you’ve got your own homemade latte.

 

My kids will like that you can add chocolate chunks to it and make hot cocoa.

And maybe while I’m at it, I should purchase this cute print from madebygirl like Holly has on her desk.

I do love blogs and coffee.

How about you? What’s the most high-maintenance coffee drink you’ve ever ordered?

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I’m not quite there, but these could sway me

As I mentioned in that horribly lit video not too long ago, I am an Autumn girl.

I like the weather, I like the scents, I like football season.

And yet, I’m still holding on to the last bits of summer.  School starts tomorrow and the air is changing. I pulled out my brown transfer-ware dishes and fluffed the kitchen. I’m half-way there.

These images might coax me go all the way into fall mode …

red flowers

via inspired room

via 6th street design school

ashington6

front-door

parlor

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annesage!

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mantle4

aaslhouse3

Okay, that about does it for me. Now I’m ready for fall.

Are you?

{Sorry for the lack of image sources on this post. These photos came from a file saved on my computer – before there was pinterest. A few look familiar from Cottage Living, Southern Living and BH & G. If you know the source, I’m happy to post it!}

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the love-hate relationship continues

My best friend K.C. and I {and our seven children} took a shopping trip to IKEA yesterday.

I love that it is close enough to just pop in on a random thursday morning.

I hate that even on a random thursday morning the play area was full. Only two of seven children made it in.

I love how inexpensive daily-use items like paper napkins and juice cups are.

I abhor those terribly wonky roll-all-over-the-place shopping carts.

I love the textile department. Curtains are long and affordable {these are my absolute favorites}, you can buy striped fabric by the yard, and down pillow inserts are super cheap.

I hate that long trek through the warehouse once you make it out of the showroom to checkout. Especially when the pager is going off because your hour is up and its time to pick up the kiddos from Smaland. It seems to take forever.

I love self checkout. I’m serious. It’s like playing ‘store’ for grownups.

I really don’t love how sweaty I am by the time we make it back to the car. The whole experience is exhausting.

But I sure do love unloading all my goodies and seeing what was thrown into the cart this time.

1. simple picture frame {ribba}

2. non-slip carpet mat {stopp}

3. plaid throw blanket {hermine}

4. cocktail paper napkins {fantastisk}

5. striped throw blanket {eivor}. I’ve had my eye on this for a while. Not sure where it will go, but stripes are always a welcomed addition to my home.

6. clay pot {mandel}

7. juice cups {reko}. $1.49 for six. This is what my kids use as drinking cups. They chip eventually, but replacing is so inexpensive, I don’t mind.

8. fabric by the yard {sofia}. Nice canvas weight. I’m thinking about cutting some on the bias for diagonal stripe curtain trim.

9. faux greenery {fejka}. Pretty cheap looking, but from a distance, it adds a nice pop of color.

 

The items I come home will always make the trip worthwhile, but you probably won’t see me and IKEA together for quite a while. We need to take a break from each other so we can fall back in love.

I posted to the JDC facebook page yesterday and I’ll ask you again here … how do you feel about IKEA?  Are you a lover or a hater?

 

{p.s. I don’t usually use the word hate. I sort of cringe at it because it is so strong. I don’t actually hate anything about IKEA. Well, except for maybe the sweaty, exhausted part.}

 

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to London we go

I can hardly contain my excitement for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

{via}

First of all, the events are exciting and captivating and so much fun to watch. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve never heard of the sport – if its an olympic game, its amazing.

Second, I adore hearing the in-depth stories of the athletes. I cry at them all.

This time around, I am most excited that my oldest boys are old enough to ‘get it’. To watch these incredible athletes, root for our favorites and be part of the magic that is The Olympics will be so fresh and exciting while sitting next to my boys.

In honor of the London games, here are a few Union Jack inspired images.

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Lovely, right?

So, here we go. On to London.

Will you be watching?

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things I like: ferns

I have a slight love affair with ferns.  Their bright, fresh color, delicate texture, slightly wild arms going every which way … they add just the right feel to my otherwise neutral rooms.

{in my office}

{on the front porch}

{in the kitchen}

{in my favorite little nook of the house}

{and on the coffee table}

In a home dressed with mostly gray, white and taupe, mixing in natural greenery adds interest, texture and life.

Plus, they only cost a few dollars at the hardware store. And that’s a bonus if you’re anything like me and have a difficult time keeping houseplants healthy.

Keeping my love of ferns in mind, I now have a pinterest board dedicated to the lovely foliage.

Click here to see more fern inspiration.

Please tell me, do you have a plant-crush?

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5 books worth reading

Summer reading is in full swing, but sometimes its hard to find a good one. Here are five of my most recent reads, all of them a different genre and all excellent in their own way.

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Perhaps the most captivating book I’ve ever read, this is a true story about an troubled Olympic athlete who joins the fight in WWII as a bombardier. I don’t want to ruin the story for you, but I will say that if you like a bit of history, a true survival story and a surprise ending, this is the perfect read. Your husband will probably love it, too.

2. Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

It all started when the author, her husband and 18-month old daughter were out to eat at a cafe in France.  She took a peek around and realized that even though the restaurant was filled with other families like hers, her daughter was the only one throwing food, needing constant attention and making the meal unenjoyable for her parents. Which got Ms. Druckerman thinking: what do French parents do to raise such polite, calm children?

I loved this book.  The writing is clever and journalistic, learning about the different parenting styles and social norms in France was fascinating, inspiring and made me double-think how we do things here in America. If you are a parent, want an entertaining, educational book, this is a good one.

3. Redemption by Bryan Clay

Reigning Olympic gold medalist in the decathalon {and the World’s Greatest Athlete} Bryan Clay wrote this memoir about his difficult childhood, his entrance into the world of track & field, how the sport changed his direction and his faith journey through it all.

Bryan and his wife, Sarah, went to college with me and Ryan {Azusa Pacific University}, so of course we’ve been big fans of our fellow APU alumni. It has been so exciting to watch this unlikely champion achieve such great success.  This is the perfect book to get you in the Olympic spirit {plus you learn a ton about the decathalon, which makes watching it much more enjoyable}. Another great book for the men in your life.

4. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

Need a life-changing book? This could be it.

7 is the true story of how Jen {along with her husband and her children to varying degrees} took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.” So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God””a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence. {from amazon book description}

If you read nothing else this summer, please pick up this one. It is written in a very conversational, humorous, blog-style and so you’ll be entertained. But more importantly, you’ll be challenged to take a look at how our feasting {consuming} has become so out-of-balance with fasting {giving}.  I was challenged and motivated to change because of this book.  It is SO good.

5. The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

The story of a rich American {Cora Cash} in the late 1800’s who travels to England and ends up marrying into a royal family. It is a novel that explores an opulent time in history, touching on the social issues of the time and the romance between Cora and her withdrawn husband.

Do you ever read a book and feel like you become friends with the main character? That is how it was for this one. I missed Cora when the story was over! I’ve heard this is right up the Downton Abbey feel, so if you’re a fan of the pbs show, you’ll love this book. Its just a fun read with lots of story twists. A great beach read.

So there they are, five books worth reading according to me.

Have you read any of these? Any other great summer book suggestions?

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snippets of life with instagram

Instagram has me hooked. I like it even more than facebook.

You choose who you’d like to follow, then get to see their lives through images. It’s a polite version of voyeurism. I’m a reality tv girl, so it is completely up my alley.

My favorites are photos with witty captions. Jami Nato is the absolute best at that. You should follow her.

I was talking to my friend about it this weekend and she thought instagram was just a fancy camera app. Not True! Well, it is, but there’s more. You take a photo, use a cool filter to make it look all artistic and post it to your feed. Add a caption if you’d like {please do – that makes it more fun}. Then those following you can view your photo and leave a comment.

We probably have enough status updates with facebook and twitter, but if you are a visual type, instagram might capture you like it has me.

Geesh. Can you tell I’m infatuated?

Since we’re talking about instagram, I thought I’d share some snapshots from the past two weeks taken with my phone {with captions underneath, of course}.

Have a peek into my life:

First little ballet shoes. Be still my heart.

The most adorable quilt made by my sister’s mother-in-law for her new baby boy due in just a few weeks. Isn’t it beautiful?

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faking it

Most women have that one item of makeup that they feel naked without.

For some it is lipstick.

Others, it’s powder.

For me, I’m a mascara girl. No doubt about it.

The other day I came home from having my eyelashes tinted darker {it didn’t work} with no trace of mascara on and after a few minutes of chatting with the boys, No. 1 said, “what’s wrong with your face? It looks like your eyes shrunk!”.  Now if that doesn’t confirm my need for mascara, nothing will. Good grief, child. Someone needs to teach that boy what not to say to a makeup-less mommy!

To his credit, my eyes look rather lost without my non-existent eyelashes. Actually, they are there – long and thick – but they are so light they seem to disappear.

Enter lash extensions…

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